Just Breathe | Teen Ink

Just Breathe

June 17, 2010
By court_for_short GOLD, Portsmouth, Virginia
court_for_short GOLD, Portsmouth, Virginia
13 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
I Love Him But I Don't Know Who Him Is Yet.

CHAPTER 1 ~ Here Till The End

Amelia Verardi was a tall, quiet, short curly blonde hair, and baby blue eyed girl. She lived in a big city with her mom and step-dad. She was an only child, so all she had was her best friend Carmen Santino. They were the best of friends since they were two years old. They are 16 now.

They were born only one day apart. Amelia born on May 2, 1993, Carmen born on May 4, 1993. They have their birthdays the day in between, the third. It’s been this way since they were six. But one stormy, cloudy, cold, winter night changed all of that.

Ever since the day they were two they have been inseparable. It was amazing the things they would do together. They liked everything the same. Even the same music. It wasn’t always that way though.

Sometimes they disagreed. That’s what best friends do though. They didn’t always disagree either. The point is, they were like sisters! But sisters eventually separate.

On December 31, 2008 Carmen Santino was kidnapped, drugged, and murdered. When they found her by the edge of the pond near her house, each of her limbs and fingers had been cut off while she was alive, the weirdest part, they were sewn back to her body. The doctors figured the drug used on Carmen was cocaine. This was a very harsh and brutal murder. It was also no dream.

Carmen Santino’s funeral was held at Wesley Funeral Home on January 4, 2009. Of course Amelia went. Something was wrong with Amelia though, and it wasn’t that her best friend was being buried. It was the fact the she didn’t cry, a tear never fell, not a whimper nor a whine. She just sat in the leather back black chair and watched, staring blankly at Carmen’s body as it was buried. Was Amelia heartless?

The questions were, did she hate Carmen and faked it all those years? Did she have something to do with Carmen’s murder? Why didn’t she cry at her best friends funeral? Did she know who killed Carmen? No one knew.

After the funeral the police, FBI, and detectives searched Amelia’s house since she was so close to Carmen. Under Amelia’s bed was a loose floorboard, the police found a knife covered in blood, a small bag of cocaine, and holding it all a large duffle bag. When the police took the murder supplies to the crime lab they ran a blood test on Carmen Santino’s blood and the blood from the knife. It was a positive match. Since the supplies were in Amelia’s room in her possession she was automatically set in jail an her bail set at $30,000.

She sat in jail for three and a half months waiting for her trial to be set. She could not afford a lawyer therefore she was assigned one. At her trial she plead not guilty. All of the jury agreed that she was guilty. Therefore she was read her rights and arrested for the murder of Carmen Santino, and she was placed in jail for 15-25 years.

Carmen’s parents didn’t even believe Amelia had done this. So Mr. and Mrs. Santino looked closely into this. Since Mr. Santino was a police officer he got a few of his friends to help him out. He went to visit Amelia at the prison, she begged him to believe her and that she didn’t kill Carmen. Of course Mr. Santino believed her, but after 15 years Amelia was let out.

After the 15 years the Santino’s tried to figure out who really killed Carmen they ended up, with nothing. No leads, no clues, nothing. Only their hunch that Amelia was innocent. They believed in their hunch very much but they had to be sure. So at the age of 31, free and out of jail, Amelia started, started looking for who really killed Carmen.


Amelia asked Mr. Santino and his friends if they would help out and they agreed. They started back at Amelia’s house, they went up to Amelia’s room to check it out once more. When they went in everything was different from the walls to the floor to the furniture. The walls were not pink and black anymore, they were teal and white. There was also no more hardwood floor, it was all carpet, sewing machines and craft boxes everywhere, Amelia’s room had been turned into a craft room.

First, they pulled up the carpet where Amelia’s bed had been and where the duffle bag had originally been. They found a folded piece of paper tucked under the carpet. It read :


Try, try, try, you’ll never catch me. I’ll kill you too, just wait and see!


Your Not Dumb Just Guess

Okay, Amelia was officially freaked out. She got Mr. Santino’s friends to guard her apartment and her. Just to be safe. Amelia was so frustrated that she couldn’t figure this out. So the next day she searched Carmen’s house, hoping for more answers.

When they got to Carmen’s house they went up to her room. Nothing had been moved. It looked as if nobody had touched it since the murder. So no clues there. But when they searched her closet they found school books, clothes, shoes and… a bullet casing?

What was a bullet casing doing in Carmen Santino’s closet? One thing about the bullet casing, it had blood on it. That may not sound good but it is when it isn’t Carmen’s blood nor Amelia’s. They took the bullet casing to the crime lab for testing, it was from an old shot gun, and for the blood… it matched to Mike Santino. Mike Santino was Carmen’s 38 year old brother.

When they brought Mike Santino in for questioning he didn’t know anything about the murder, (so he says). But when put on a lie detector machine and asked if he knew who kidnapped and/or killed Carmen he replied, “No.” But the lie detector said otherwise. He was taken off the machine and questioned again. He still refused to say anything.

Who was he backing up? Who killed Carmen? Was it Mike? Was Mike shot protecting his sister? No one knew.

Mike was taken to the hospital to be searched for a wound matching the bullet from Carmen’s closet. They found it! A bullet in his left shoulder. It was sewn up but it did not look professional. The doctor took out the stitches, cleaned the wound and sewed it back up professionally.

So Mike was shot. But was it defending his sister? He was then questioned for the fourth time and finally admitted he did see and know who kidnapped Carmen but did not know if he also killed her. A man by the name of Eduardo Summits. Mike also admitted that he was protecting his sister and was enraged that he could not save her before she was taken.

He said he shot himself in the leg to try to kill himself for not being able to save Carmen. They did find another unprofessional sewn up bullet hole but he shot himself with a different kind of gun than a shotgun, a pistol. The doctor then took out those stitches and repeated what he did on the first bullet hole. Mike said he prays every night for his sister and begs the lord, for when he dies he wants to be with his sister. Since Mike shot himself with a pistol and not a shotgun he was eliminated as a suspect.

The police searched for Eduardo Summits and found that he resided in a house 5 miles away from the police station. That was a bad idea in the first place. It was a fairly old house built in 1996. It was a bright teal color with yellow trims. The police went in along with Amelia, what they found was not normal.


They found in the first room a bed with a half loaded shotgun, women’s clothes, and a lime green and black phone. The clothes belonged to Carmen. So did the phone. Was Eduardo the killer? No one knew…yet.

Then they found the weirdest thing of all. Dozens of rooms filled with pictures. The first room was a room filled with hundreds of pictures of Carmen. No space left on the walls or ceiling. On the floor was a huge tile with the name C. Santino painted in red paint on it.

The were dozens of more rooms exactly like this but with different names. When the police inspected the last room it was like all the others but only one wall and the ceiling were filled with pictures. S. Manning was painted on the floor in red paint. The police searched all the names and all the girls were dead accept Sydney Manning. They found her address.

Sydney Manning lived at 201 S. Baker Street. When the police got to the apartment they found Sydney Manning stabbed three times in the chest with a butchers knife. They were too late. Amelia knew it. Eduardo had done this.

Amelia knew that Eduardo was the killer of all those girls. But the police could not arrest him until they found evidence that he was absolutely the killer. Amelia hated this. There was only one thing the police could arrest Eduardo for. Possession of a loaded firearm without a license, he had to stay in jail for four months.

This wasn’t good enough for Amelia. She was happy he was locked up. But she wanted him locked up for killing Carmen, not having a gun. All Amelia wanted was Eduardo dead. She would see to it that she had her way.

Amelia thought and thought. She couldn’t think of anything to do. She just wanted her friend to rest in peace. Then she got it. She would go back to Eduardo’s house tomorrow and search the one room the police forgot, the attic!

So she went back to her protected apartment and slept. She lay there dreaming about her and Carmen as little kids. Then Eduardo swoops in and grabs Carmen. Carmen is crying and so is Amelia. Eduardo will perish!

After that night Amelia could not sleep until she knew Eduardo was gone for good. Eduardo knows what he did and should just admit it already. He’s just a coward, afraid of his own shadow, praying on young girls, a snake with no backbone. All Amelia wants now is Eduardo eliminated. She would get what she wanted, and him what he deserved.

She would stop at nothing to make sure he was dead. She went to the old house Eduardo lived in and went up to the attic. She found a small dresser with two doors. In one door was jackets and the other letters. One was from Mike, the one from Mike read :


As you know by now I know you killed my sister. I will tell you I do not believe in revenge, it gets you no where. But I do believe in the death sentence which is exactly what you’ll get. You’ll be gone soon. Just wait.

- Mike Santino

P.S. I hate you and you will perish in a fiery DEATH!

That was it. That was all the police needed. Eduardo was taken to court and given the death sentence for the murder of 49 girls including Carmen Santino. Amelia knew it. She knew she would get her way, one way, or another, and look what happened.

Similar Articles


This article has 3 comments.

ttflbwajclt said...
on Oct. 26 2010 at 12:15 pm
guess what . . . this is min e! <3 (: loveeee yooooouuu ohh were in spanish as i commmment thiiis

on Jul. 20 2010 at 5:00 pm
court_for_short GOLD, Portsmouth, Virginia
13 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
I Love Him But I Don't Know Who Him Is Yet.

Thank you soooo much you dont know how much this means to me. i also have a poem "I Am Beautiful" idk if you have read it but you should it was published in a poetry book by the american library of poetry and its won contests so thank you! :) <3

Katrselyn said...
on Jun. 24 2010 at 3:53 pm
Katrselyn, Kankakee, Illinois
0 articles 0 photos 142 comments
Thats amazing!!I could see everything! I also kept reading! I told my friend about your story! I hope you get a lot of views!! Keep going, go far.